Gifts from the sea….shells, coral pieces and beautiful abalone shards combine with Swarovski pearls and crystal pendants for a beachy treasure!

I’ve been collecting seashells for forever; from the beaches of Miami, the Gulf of Mexico and west-coast Cali, my art studio literally boasts bags and bags of these salty specimens. I usually just decorate glass jars with them, use them as bowl fillers and such – but I needed a different way to highlight these gems. Why not create sparkly sun catchers?!

With a bit of vintage glam from Cousin brand pearls and old chandelier crystals, Swarovski crystal pendants and a touch of gold wire, these are definitely a unique way to combine lost-and-found items for dazzling results! Let’s start the tutorial.

Step 1: Gather materials. Needed are seashells (preferably hand-picked!), pliers, fishing line, 24g gold wire (mine from Cousin), pearls or crystals (mine Swarovski Create Your Style and Jewelry Basics distributed by Cousin), chandelier-style crystals (mine vintage), Swarovski crystal pendants or any other large pendant crystal.  I used a coral-shaped one and then this Crystalactite Pendant.

Pick out which shells or coral pieces you will be using. I’m making three different styles. My first uses this large coral piece. I simply took a piece of the 24g wire, found a hole at top and created a wrapped top loop with the wire. I then used another piece of wire, wrapping it around the loop, and wiring on a shard of abalone and a Swarovski coral pendant.

For my other dangle, I used three shells stacked on top of another- the largest shell naturally had a hole (which I again created a wire wrapped loop through), but I glued the other two shells on top and then glued a Swarovski Ivory pearl in the center.

For my third dangle, I used a large abalone piece, with which I created a hole at the top (by poking an Xacto knife through)- I wrapped a wire loop again. With another piece of wire, I wrapped on a purple Swarovski pearl and the Crystalactite pendant. I cut a foot of fishing line, threaded it through the wire loop, and folding in half right at the center, started stringing on an 8mm opaline bead, then the chandelier crystals….

Same with the shell dangle- except on this one, I added a pearl first, then the chandelier crystals. Here are the three dangles- as you can see, the chandelier crystals layer on top of another sort of like crystal shards. To finish, simply add a crimp bead to the fishwife strands, thread back through the crimp leaving a loop and crimp shut.

As you can see, there are endless possibilities with these. I have one of these hanging in my car, because I like to have a bit of the ocean with me wherever I go.

I think the rustic shells mixed with luxe crystals give the appearance of something you’d find in a mermaid’s den – and don’t tell me they don’t exist, people! Play around with colors, crystal shapes, pearl sizes and more to create all different sorts of dangles.

I think the neutral tones within the shells, combined with the milky ivory pearls and then the pure sparkle of the crystals create the perfect, not-too-flasy decoration! Don’t you agree?!

All photos copyright Allison Beth Cooling for Quiet Lion Creations. DO NOT POST OR REUSE without linking to me and crediting me. Thanks!

3 comments

Love- will be making these and adding a little mermaid.

I love your beachy ideas. I’m retired living on the Gulf coast and love your creative seashore ideas!

Thank you!

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